Embracing My Natural Roots: Customizing My Braided Wig
By Space Coast Daily // August 24, 2023
When I first started wearing wigs a few years ago, I stuck to straight and wavy styles with a more “Eurocentric” aesthetic. As a Black woman, braided wigs seemed “ethnic” or old-fashioned to me at the time.
However, following a spiritual journey into my African ancestry, I decided to look into personalizing braided wigs and making them my own. Looking back, I’m so glad I took the risk and found a wig style that genuinely reflects my ancestry and personal style.
I began my search for the perfect base wig by shopping at FANCIVIVI Braided Wigs a brand specializing in braided hairpieces for black women. After trying on numerous options in various braid thicknesses and textures, I settled on a long, small knotless braids style made with synthetic hair. Despite being less expensive than human hair, the tight braids and dozens of tiny zigzag portions gave it a lifelike, natural appearance. My major goal going in was to elevate this braided wig from “ordinary” to “extraordinary.”
Here’s how I did it:
Step 1: Choosing the Right Base Wig
The first step to customizing a braided wig is selecting the right base wig. I opted for a small knotless braids wig with tightly braided strands for a natural look. I also made certain that the braid thickness and length were appropriate for my needs. Take your time with this process because the base wig will affect the overall appearance of your bespoke braided wig.
Step 2: Coloring the Wig
Once I had my base wig, the next step was to add some color. One of the easiest ways to customize a braided wig is by changing its color. You can use fabric dye made for synthetic or human hair, depending on the type of wig you have. Before dyeing the wig, make sure to test the dye on a small strand to ensure it will take properly.
When dyeing the wig, divide it into sections and apply the dye evenly, making sure to coat each braid thoroughly. Let the dye sit for the recommended time and then rinse it out well. Be sure to follow the instructions on the dye package carefully to avoid any mishaps.
Step 3: Reshaping Loose Ends
I noticed that some of the strands on my wig were a little loose and poking out from the braids after dying it. To correct this, I clipped the stray hairs and stiffened the loose strands with mousse or gel. To make the braids look more uniform, I wrapped the free ends around a cylinder and attached them with thread.
Step 4: Adding Jewelry or Hair Clips
I decided to dress up my braided wig with jewelry and hair clips to add some style. I embellished the braids with beads, thread, hair jewels, and wraps, as well as hair clips, pins, and bows. To keep the embellishments in place, I used clear nail polish or glue to attach them.
By adding these decorations, I can add some personality to my wig and showcase my style. I used to fantasize about trying various Knotless Braids Styles, but then I had a different thought. I can try one style first and then customize a wig that truly reflects my own. I feel like doing it this way might be more meaningful.
Step 5: Layering and Looping Braids
I stacked and looped the braids to add dimension to my custom braided wig. I took strands from various braids and looped them around others to achieve a more complicated and textured effect. To add volume and style, I braided a few stray strands into mini braids then placed thinner braids over heavier braids.
Step 6: Adding Flexible Extensions
As a finishing touch, I added some flexible extensions to my braided wig. I bought synthetic braid and knotless braid extensions and wrapped them around the existing braids with small clear elastics. To cover the elastic bands and create a seamless effect, I tucked them into the braids.
Step 7: Maintaining My Braided Wig Properly
It was critical to properly care for my unique braided wig after it was finished. I routinely cleaned the wig to remove debris and buildup and spritzed it with detangler spray to keep the strands soft and manageable. I also reapplied hairspray or mousse as needed to style it.
Customizing my braided wig was an empowering experience for me. It allowed me to express my creativity and individuality through my hairstyle. Not only did I end up with a one-of-a-kind wig that suited my personality and style, but I also gained a sense of confidence and self-assurance that comes with owning your unique look.
Overall, customizing my braided wig taught me to embrace a hairstyle that is strongly entrenched in my African ancestry. Though I used to think braided wigs were out of date, I now see them as a lovely way to reflect my natural hair texture, texture, and culture. I’ve changed this style into one that completely complements my varied personal style by experimenting with color, embellishments, and unique touches. Best of all, customizing every detail myself has cemented a strong connection between this wig and my own sense of identity.
I’m so glad I fought the impulse to wear “safer” wigs and instead took a chance on expressing myself with this lovely braided style. The end product is one-of-a-kind hair that both literally and metaphorically embraces my unique roots.